Whilst it’s true that any form of exercise will increase your overall fitness and help you lose weight, different activities target, and are most effective on, different body parts. Therefore if you’re seeking to lose weight from a specific area, it makes sense to invest your time and energy most in the exercises which deal with this part of your body.
It’s important to remember, however, to not focus exclusively on one body part, but rather to design a complete workout regime with specific exercises given priority.
Let’s Start On Ideas To Get Your Workout Going
For any cardio training to be effective you need to be raising your heartbeat into the aerobic zone – which equates to approximately 55% – 85% of your maximum heart rate (MHR – a quick way of working this out is 220 minus your age). For example, a 20-year old would have an MHR of 200 (220-20); 55% of this is 110, with 85% being 170, so any activity which raised their heart rate to between 110 and 170 would be beneficial.
Resistance training focuses less on heart rate as it aims not to burn fat but rather to strengthen muscles, so you may find yourself less out of breath after resistance and weight training – but don’t be fooled; you need a healthy combination of both aspects of fitness to get the maximum benefits.
Whatever activities you choose to undertake, it’s important to be consistent and regular, so aim to complete exercise for at least 30 minutes, five times a week, with no more than 2 days’ rest in between sessions. Time can be cumulative, however, so 15 minutes in the morning plus 15 in the evening would both count towards your half-hour total.
For a complete whole-body workout, kettlebells are a good investment. Even a basic routine using kettlebells is very efficient at burning calories, and as a result the whole workout is quite short, making it a good option for people who are pressed for time. Similarly, circuit training (aerobic exercises combined with resistance training) often targets different body parts with each new station, and for the easiest workout in the world, simply invest in a skipping rope and get skipping.
If your stomach, bum or thighs are a bugbear, then higher-intensity activities such as running, cross-training and cycling are good choices, as these burn most calories in the legs. Sit-ups will also burn calories around your waist, as will hula-hooping. Leg curls, lunges and stepping activities (such as running up and down the stairs) all work out these areas.
Anyone wishing to improve their muscle strength (or lose their bingo wings) should take time to cross-train, use weight or resistance machines targeting arms and core, or take up activities such as tennis or boxing. For a more sedate alternative, try yoga – beginner poses don’t require the intense flexibility of more advanced stretches, and are a good way of calming both body and mind whilst working out.
Whatever your aim, though, finding a balanced mix of exercises is important, and don’t overexert yourself – a good exercise routine should leave you feeling out of breath and weary, but still able to walk and talk normally. If you find any activity leaves you too tired to move, or to puffed to speak, lessen the intensity or duration until you’ve built up more strength and energy.